The Instigator
XiaoFei98
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Cigarettes should be illegal

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,443 times Debate No: 18673
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

XiaoFei98

Pro

Many people smoke in the United States, but it should be outlawed. Smoking harms many people including the smoker and the people around him/her. No one should have to die or have breathing problems from those around them who smoke. It also creates more pollution in the air we breath. Everyone has a right to have clean air, but with the amount of people smoking, that is almost impossible. Not only, then, will the smoker be exposed to every side effect of smoking, but also their lovers, the people they love, and people who are around them. Lung cancer and heart disease can kill the smoker. Read http://quitsmoking.about.com... for more information.
For passive smoking read:http://www.stopsmokingtoday.com...
Illegalcombatant

Con

Opening Comments

I thank Xiao for instigating this debate.

I think it will be clear to all what Pro means by saying cigarettes should be illegal, there shall be no tricky semantic arguments here. With that said we can move onto the attempted justification given by Pro for this claim.

Smoking is bad for the smoker

Pro informs us about the adverse health outcomes for the smoker. I will not be arguing against the worse health outcomes for smokers, in Australia we have a cute little nick name for cigarettes that being "cancer sticks" need I say more? . Australian Federal and State governments have information on such health outcomes [1] and I will not be challenging such information. As such it is unnecessary for Pro to provide further evidence that smoking is bad for the smoker as I will concede that the more one smokes the more chance ones has of getting cancer. I think this concession is more than enough for Pro concerning this area of the debate.

Freedom and banning everything with bad health outcomes is untenable

So with no dis-agreement on the bad health outcomes for smokers this leads to to the dis agreement of what to do about it, how shall we respond ? well in Pros case they want to make cigarettes illegal. Pro informs us that the bad health outcomes for the smoker is sufficient warrant for making cigarettes illegal. I maintain this is an unjustified and untenable response, so let me explain why.

To make something illegal just because it has bad health outcomes would mean we would have to ban just about nearly everything. If we adhere to this principle we would have to ban obesity, eating junk food, mountain climbing etc etc. Before you think that is some what of drawing a long bow consider some of the bad health outcomes of obesity..."Being obese brings with it health- concerns that can be quite severe. Although tobacco related deaths are still the number one reason why most people die in the United States, obesity is slowly creeping up in the numbers.....&..."Obesity health issues

Type II Diabetes
Heart Disease
High Blood Pressure
Sleep Apnea
Osteoarthritis
Gall Bladder Disease
Fatty Liver Disease
Cancer
Asthma
Chronic headaches
Varicose veins
Coronary artery disease
GERD
Hernias" [2]

There is a fun little hobby some people have, its involves getting in a plane, fly a few thousand feet high then...........jumping out of it. Do I really need to spell out the risk to ones health in engaging in such activity? Shall we ban this too on bad health out come grounds ?

The answer to all these questions is no, we allow people to make decisions, even decisions that have bad health outcomes for the individual cause we value freedom not to mention how untenable it would be to ban everything that has a bad health out come

What about the health outcomes for others ?

Now Pro has a second attack for banning cigarettes, and that involves the argument that smoking is bad for others on the grounds of "passive smoking". But you don't need to ban cigarettes to deal with this problem, around the world there are bans on smoking in pubs/clubs indoor spaces etc.

But of course this still allows smokers to smoke outside. Is there some health danger here to warrant the banning of cigarettes ? Well lets put this in context, car pollution according to Adam Stein gives us..." Burning one gallon of gas creates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, and the average car emits about six tons of carbon dioxide every year" [3]

I haven't been able to find how much carbon dioxide is produced by smoking a cigarette but I think its reasonable to say the amount produced at least when compared to a car is "negligible". So we are going to ban smoking cigarettes outside while allowing cars to drive outside ?. There is something hugely disproportional in this is there not ? straining for a gnat while swallowing a camal perhaps ? Again I think this proposed situation is untenable.

I look forward to Pros reply.

Sources

[1] http://www.quitnow.gov.au...
[2] http://www.healthnetwork.com.au...
[3] http://www.cartalk.com...
Debate Round No. 1
XiaoFei98

Pro

My second defense was that passive smoking has hurt many people. Obesity, mountain climbing, eating junk food, etc. are all choices that people choose to do. I and you however, do not say: "Oh look! There's someone smoking! Let's breathe in their smoke willingly." We do not have a choice. Scientists have been researching how to "go green" and not pollute the air as much as we are. A big part of it, however, comes from the millions who smoke in the U.S. Cars do produce more carbon dioxide and other gases, but people are trying to fix it. No one's really trying to help or stop smoking. It's a pollutant. More people die from smoking than almost anything. No one said: "Oh! That car's gases killed him over time." unless you are victim of murder. Smoking is the main cause and thus, we should become a more healthy nation.

Even though there are places where smoking is off-limits, if you are in Vegas, there's not a lot. Many times I will walk into a casino and be choked by the amount of smoke and that smell that is in the air. Thank you for accepting my challenge.

I do look forward to the next couple of rounds.
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

Smoking is bad for the smoker

Already conceded by me.

Freedom and banning everything with bad health outcomes is untenable

Pro offers no response to my argument showing how its untenable to ban things just on bad health outcome grounds. Please note those bad health outcomes include death like in my skydiving example or driving cars. So it does no good for Pro to retort that smoking leads some to death, well sure so does driving cars and jumping out of airplanes.

"There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States -- one death every 13 minutes." [1]

Shall we ban driving too on the grounds of leading to bad health outcomes ?

Once again the untenability of following this principle I think gives us good reason to reject Pros logic here.

What about the health outcomes for others ?

Pros 2nd round argument concentrates their justification for banning cigarettes on the harm caused to others and as such my response will largely focus on this area.

Pro says..."No one's really trying to help or stop smoking. It's a pollutant." You mean other than all the people and money that goes into anti smoking and quit campaigns ?

Now Pro informs us of their anecdote of going to Vegas, but once again in order to deal with that problem it is not necessary to ban cigarettes, instead you can do the more modest and less freedom depriving option of banning smoking indoors, pubs ,clubs casinos etc.

Pro informs us of the non choice non smokers have, but this argument can be used once again for breathing in car pollution. Why shouldn't we use Pros logic to ban cars ? After we didn't choose to inhale car pollution ? Once again I think this line of reasoning is untenable, if your going to ban cigarettes on Pros principle here then you have to ban cars as well.

In the previous round I argued against the disproportional response of banning smoking out side, while allowing cars to drive around and the far greater pollution caused by the cars compared to cigarettes. Pro had no response to this.

I look forward to Pros response.

[1] http://www.car-accidents.com...
Debate Round No. 2
XiaoFei98

Pro

XiaoFei98 forfeited this round.
Illegalcombatant

Con

Maybe Pro ran off to Vegas again ? Extend arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
XiaoFei98

Pro

Under the "Freedom and banning everything with bad health outcomes is untenable" section you said that I had not offered any response. I did. I said that whatever ridiculous stunt people attempt is out of the own volition. It is not our fault that they want to skydive or drive cars. Yes, many people are indeed killed by cars, but the problem with that is that there are the innocent people who are killed and then there are the people who kill them. Many accidents happen because of texting, talking on the phone, not paying attention, sleeping, DUI, and other things. Though it may sound wrong, some of the accidents are caused by other people. That could also go for smoking. There are the people who smoke and risk everyone elses lives.

Yes, there have been many campaigns, ads, news article, D.A.R.E classes for fifth graders, etc., but I know many of those things people ignore. "Sure a black lung looks bad, but that won't happen to me" is what people think. Cars are very pollutant, no doubt, but we can change cars. People we can't change as easily. If you think about it, we make cars and we make the pollutant, but we can change that feature of a car by going green. We don't manufacture people. We can't add a feature to them to stop smoking. The only way we would be able to "remake" people is to outlaw smoking. I know that's a bad analogy, but can you see where I'm going with this?

Cars do have greater pollution level, no doubt. It would be stupid of me to deny it, but if we can rid the air of some pollution then that would help a lot. Much of our smoke comes from cigars and cigarettes too. Cigarettes and cigars also are causes to fires which pollute the air more than any one car would depending on the fires' size. What about fires that are caused by cigars and cigarettes? They should be counted too and with that, that is putting people and animals in a terrible situation if they have to evacuate their homes or woods. Even buildings are another target. They can burn and kill the people inside. Passive smoke isn't the only way to kill with a single cigar or cigarette.

By the way, I had too much schooling to take care of. That's why I didn't put an argument in. Yes, I did run off to Vegas. I live there. ;)
Illegalcombatant

Con

Smoking is bad for the smoker

Already conceded by me.

Freedom and banning everything with bad health outcomes is untenable

Previously I said..."Pro offers no response to my argument showing how its untenable to ban things just on bad health outcome grounds." Pro is correct in saying that they did offer a response that was a mistake on my part. What I should of said is that Pro offered no effective rebuttal to the untenability of banning something just because it leads to bad health comes whether that be driving, smoking, skydiving, eating to much etc etc.

Pro informs us of how people can get into car accidents, once again I point out, none of this refutes my argument that Pros justification for banning something (in this case cigarettes) can't be justified on the sole basis of bad health outcomes lest we ban everything that has bad health outcomes.

What about the health outcomes for others ?

Pro says..." That could also go for smoking. There are the people who smoke and risk everyone else's lives. "

Once again I repeat what I argued before on this matter..."Now Pro informs us of their anecdote of going to Vegas, but once again in order to deal with that problem it is not necessary to ban cigarettes, instead you can do the more modest and less freedom depriving option of banning smoking indoors, pubs ,clubs casinos etc"

I don't see any argument from Pro against the less freedom restricting ban on smoking indoors to deal with any passive smoking risk to others.

Pro throws in some new dangers of smoking such as..."What about fires that are caused by cigars and cigarettes? They should be counted too and with that, that is putting people and animals in a terrible situation"

For the love of Bambi, I think we better ban cigarettes. Under Pros logic here matches can also cause forest fires so shall we ban them too ? I do get the impression this argument was pulled from desperation going into the final round.

Pro does acknowledge the vast greater pollution caused by cars compared with cigarettes at least when talking about the outdoors. But then Pro starts making comments like..."Much of our smoke comes from cigars and cigarettes too". This is way to a vague of a statement to mean anything, much compared to what ? I argued about the disproportional response of banning cigarettes on outdoor pollution grounds which caused negligible outside pollution when compared to outdoor pollution caused by cars.

As far as Pros comments about we make cars so we have to ban cigarettes to remake people, Pro asks see where I am going with this ? my answer is not really.

In Summary

I don't think Pro has been able to justify the banning of cigarettes as I have shown........

1) You can't ban something just because it leads to bad health outcomes.
2) The passive smoking risk is dealt with by banning smoking indoors and thus you don't have to ban cigarettes.
3) The disproportional response of banning cigarettes to combat outside pollution while allowing cars to drive around.

I thank Pro for the debate.

Vote Con.

Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by XiaoFei98 5 years ago
XiaoFei98
Thank you for pointing that out. I had a few more rounds and I have school which is far more important than a debate. No offense.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
just cause someone forfeited doesn't mean they lost.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by browley14 1 year ago
browley14
XiaoFei98IllegalcombatantTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I do believe that cigarettes should be banned, for they're terrible for you. But con just had better arguments.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
XiaoFei98IllegalcombatantTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro said smoking harms, therefore should be illegal. Con asked should we criminalize everything harmful? Pro made a gesture towards distinguishing harmful-to-users from harmful-to-bystanders, but wasn't clear enough for Con to engage with it. Had Pro been clearer, Con could have pointed out that cars hurt bystanders too. Pro never really dealt with Con's arguments.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
XiaoFei98IllegalcombatantTied
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: Although both sides show their points ad even though I agree with illegalcombatant, I think that pro did had a better case. But good job both of you. And BTW con, don't be mean (Vegas)
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 5 years ago
jm_notguilty
XiaoFei98IllegalcombatantTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct loss for PRO for his forfeit. I'll reconsider voting later.